Saturday, June 29, 2013

14/48--Virgins no more

A bunch of theater artists lost their 14/48 virginity last night, and those of us who got to watch are better off for it.

A virgin, in the parlance of 14/48, the world's quickest theater festival, is a person who is participating in a particular discipline—writing, directing, acting, designing, or being part of the band—for the first time at the festival. This is not to say they've never done the fest before, but we're told that all but a couple of the actors were completely new as the event seeks to broaden its community of participants.

Erin Pike and Daniel Wood give really horrible dating
advice in "Thank You For Holding," but we detected a
bit of a spark between the characters at the end! 14/48
photo by Joe Iano.
Last night's seven world premiere plays on the theme "Sorry—I thought that would help" were all solid, giving another fun night of theater. My sweetie, the official scorer, and I agreed on a favorite of the evening: "Thank You For Holding," written by Kate Jaeger and directed by Maria Glanz. Ashley Marshall and Cody Smith were adorable as love-struck but uber-shy co-workers on a technical support desk, who are amazed that they're simultaneously asking "Is it plugged in?" or "Have you tried turning it off and back on?" Erin Pike and Daniel Wood offer the pair technical support in romance, but their suggestions are terribly, hilariously bad. It's a total "awwww" moment when the techies connect despite  the bad advice, with Wood hollering, "A relationship based on truth will not last!" As the lights go down, we expect the love advisors will have a little thing of their own.

Another favorite was "Butter and Sugar," written by Nik Perleros and directed by Justin Alley. Sam Read is a hoot as Paula Deen, Meaghan Halverson and Jillian Vashro are butter and sugar, and Zach Adair is Paula's kinky love interest.

I also really liked "A Fish and a Bear in Purgatory" by Holly Aresnault, directed by Debra Pralle, especially for great performances by Rebecca M. Davis as the bear and Mark Waldstein as the fish. The play also revealed a bit of the anxiety that goes into the 14/48 experience, as evidenced by this tweet from Arsenault on Thursday:
"Undo" ran at Annex Theatre earlier this year. We missed it, but reviews were solid.

The evening also featured the totally creepy "Spoiled" by Jennifer Jasper and directed by Julia Griffin, Dave Clapper's play about a "Wedding Day" gone horribly wrong, and "Kings", John Farrage's tale of a drag king contest.

Tonight's theme is "The Devil is in the details." We're certain it will be another fun and interesting evening of theater. Shows at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Tickets here.

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